Yeah! It's Friday again! Whoddathunkit?! This week we've debated the merits of removing shifters from levers, we've crowned our Budget Road Bike of the Year, and we've poked the hornet's nest that is the never-ending ideological war over bike helmets. Our man Robin Wilmott has tried out Campagnolo's new disc brakes, while the ever-opinionated Steve Williams has mellowed a little and gone all philosophical to ask can a bike be right if it looks wrong?
Read on for a sample of the tasty new bikes and kit that have turned up at BikeRadar headquarters this week.
New mountain bikes and gear
Tasco MTB Double Digits
Who said sock doping was only for roadies? Tasco-MTB is taking it one step further by coordinating socks and gloves with what it calls Double Digits, and each 'mini kit' is designed specifically for mountain biking.
The gloves feature a single layer synthetic palm, a touchscreen-friendly index fingertip, a terry cloth nose wipe, and four-way stretch material on the back.
The socks are a blend of Coolmax nylon and Lycra, and boast flex-zone mesh panels and reinforced knitting in high-wear areas.
- $44.98, UK and Australian pricing TBD
WPL ChainBoost Chain Lube
WPL stands for Whistler Performance Lubricants and makes bio-based oil lubricants for automotive, motorsport and bicycle applications. WPL is from, you guessed it, the riding mecca of Whistler, BC.
WPL develops bio-lubricants and bio-based maintenance products from fully biodegradable materials. WPL states that even though they "...don’t use additives, mineral oil, synthetic oil, or organic solvents in any of our products," their oils outperform conventional chemical-based lubes.
ChainBoost lube is said to bind to the metal of the chain to provide smooth pedaling and lasting performance. Additionally, it's claimed to eliminate corrosion, increase lubricity and contains a self-cleaning emulsifying agent that washes away chain debris and oily, black grease with just a dowsing of water.
WPL makes a whole line of MTB oils and lubes, including: grease, suspension oils, degreaser and ForkBoost to remove dirt from seals.
- $14.00, UK and Australian pricing TBD
Gates Carbon Drive 10-year photobook
It's been a decade since the Gates Corporation decided to shake up the bicycle drivetrain business by using a belt instead of a chain. To celebrate its first 10 years with bikes, Gates Carbon Drive has released an anniversary photo book.
The book includes loads of beautiful images of belt-drive bicycles as well as the builders, cyclists, and competitors who create, ride, and race them. Also included are many of the globetrotting bicyclists who are venturing on belt-equipped machines all over the farthest reaches of the globe.
In addition to the pictures, the book provides some company history and the belt's timeline, from a couple of belts and sprockets to having over 400 bike brands involved in numerous styles and disciplines. Best of all, it's available at no cost. Yep, as in $0.00 free. Order yours here.
Turbine nose stents
Good news! Not only can you ride the same Pinarello as Tour de France winner Chris Froome, you can also use the same nose breathing tools.
Turbine is a nasal dilator (it holds your nostrils more open) that is claimed to make breathing more efficient before, during and after riding. In fact, Turbine claims that airflow through the nose can be increased by up to 38 percent.
What is it? A Turbine nasal stent is an ultra-soft medical grade polymer that you place inside your nostrils. The nostril opening fit is adjustable and it's noted that each device can be used up to 10 times.
Three sizes are available to fit every nose and each pack contains three stents.
Turbine has an impressive list of sponsored athletes, including: Chris Froome, Matt Goss, pro triathletes Luke Bell and Annabel Luxford, as well as Olympians Steve Redgrave, Jack Bobridge and Shannon Rowbury.
- Starter pack (Small, Medium, Large): $19.95, UK and Australian pricing TBD
- 3-pack of one size: $27.95, UK and Australian pricing TBD
Kona Hei Hei Supreme
The new breed of full-suspension XC-race bikes are finally adding a healthy dose of fun and capability into the lightweight, go-fast recipe. Kona's Hei Hei Supreme is a prime example.
With a 68-degree head angle, 120mm-travel fork and a whole lot of carbon providing stiffness, the Hei Hei Supreme looks for the bonus hits almost as much as it seeks out the fastest lines.
Kona didn't tag this Hei Hei with the Supreme label by chance, it's chock full with some of the best spec around: WTB Ci31 carbon hoops, SRAM XX1 Eagle, SRAM Guide RSC disc brakes, Race Face Next 35 carbon bar, and a KS Lev dropper post.
- £7,899, $7,999, Australian pricing TBD
Mavic Deemax Pro wheels with Claw Pro XL and Quest Pro XL tires
While no longer the distinctive, you-better-be-fast, bright Mavic yellow, the venerable Deemax name rides again. These Deemax Pro wheels aren't downhill specific, but rather aimed at all-mountain and enduro riding.
A 27.5in rear wheel comes in at a skinny 890g, while the matching front tips in at an equally paltry 810g.
After resisting the widening of rims, Mavic is finally coming on board, sort of. The front is 28mm wide internally, while the rear comes in at 25mm internally which Mavic claims keeps the rear tire rolling faster.
They're loaded with all the top Mavic technologies: UST tubeless rims, Zicral aluminum spokes, QRM+ hubs, Fore rim drilling and ISM 4D rim shaving.
The matching Mavic tires are front and rear specific. The front 2.5in Claw Pro XL is dual compound and features Mavic's Guard 2 sidewall, which is a dual ply casing. It's full UST capable as well.
The rear Quest Pro XL tire sits at 2.4in and is also dual compound for grip and lower rolling resistance. It also comes ready to fight off punctures with a Guard 2 dual-ply casing and full UST capability.
- Deemax Pro wheels: $1,249, UK and Australian pricing TBD
- Claw Pro XL front tire: $89.95, UK and Australian pricing TBD
- Quest Pro XL rear tire: $74.95, UK and Australian pricing TBD
New road bikes and kit
Rose Pro SL Disc-2000 Hydraulic
Just a couple of weeks ago we published our five star review of the seriously impressive Rose Pro SL 2000 with rim brakes, and this week we've been sent the brand new disc version of the same bike.
Weighing 9.0kg for a 53, this gloriously red machine gets 105 shifting and Shimano’s lumpy-but-capable RS505 hydraulic levers with matching disc calipers. Like the rim brake version, it’s got a beautifully finished frame that looks very carbon-like from a distance.
We’re excited to find out if the Pro SL Disc is as good as its rim brake counterpart. It’s probably faster, because y’know, it’s red…
- £1197.10 / $1,550 / AU$2,100 (note: Rose will ship to both the US and Australia, but the cost is not insignificant)
Cirrus Cycles Bodyfloat Kinekt seatpost
Suspension on road bikes is all the rage right now, but if you don’t want to buy a whole new bike, what about adding some bounce to your current ride? The Bodyfloat Kinekt is designed to isolate you from road and trail vibrations, and minor impacts too.
It uses two large springs that are available in four strengths to accommodate riders from 50lbs (22.7kg) all the way up to 250lbs (113.4kg), and you can swap them over yourself if you want to experiment.
This 27.2mm diameter, 350mm long post weighs 525g on our scales.
- $249 / £TBC / AU$TBC
- Extra springs are $10 each.
The Time Crunched Cyclist 3rd edition
Are you a numbers geek who’s short of time but want to Make Great Bike Race? Sounds like you might be a time-crunched cyclist. As it happens, there’s a training manual tailored to people just like you, written by professional coaches Chris Carmichael and Jim Rutberg.
The book focuses on high-intensity interval workouts to maximize gains for riders who want to be competitive, but who don’t have time for traditional high-volume training methods.
This new edition adds in a “powered by Strava” gimmick, as well as new sections on diet, recipes, and a chapter on hydration and heat stress.
The book weighs 809g and is not available in carbon. It is sold by major bookshops including Amazon and others.
- £19.99 / $21.95 / AU$TBC
Dr Weils Action Plaster spray
Do you like ACTION? Are you CLUMSY? Sounds like you need Action Plaster Spray (!!!). As the name implies, this is a spray-on alternative to a conventional plaster, which is designed to create “a protective transparent, flexible waterproof film-skin over a cut or graze.”
The 32.5ml can claims to be good for 600 applications — sounds good to us!
- £5.99 / $NA / AU$NA
Often regarded as a necessary evil rather than a desirable accessory by riders who use shared paths, bells have undergone a bit of renaissance in recent years with innovative designs from the likes of Spurcycle and more recently, Australian brand Knog.
The Oi works like any other bike bell, but substitutes a stylish metal band for the usual round clangy bit, which makes for a tidy, unobtrusive design that won’t upset the fine aesthetic harmony of your beloved bicycle.
First impressions are that it’s a little bit flimsier feeling than we expected, but it sounds pretty good with a nice sustained ding.
The Oi is available in two sizes to fit the vast majority of bars. We weighed a small (22.2mm diameter bars only) at 16g and a large (23.8-31.8mm bars) at 25g.
- £14.99 / $19.95 / AU$29.95